"There is always a philosophy for lack of courage."—Albert Camus

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

High Gasoline Prices—What the Government Can Do

In an effort to deal with—or be seen as dealing with—high gasoline prices, President Bush called upon Congress to f"ind a way to approve permits to build new refineries a year after they are filed." In addition, Bush noted that he had "told the Environmental Protection Agency to use 'all available authority to grant waivers that would relieve critical fuel shortages,' and said he would seek more waiver authority from Congress if needed." Both quotes are from a brief Reuters story on the subject.

In addition, AP reports that Bush today also "halted for the summer the purchase of crude oil for the government's emergency reserve."

Analysis: the President's suggestions are valid and reasonable things for the federal government to do: to alter federal policies that force up the price of gasoline without paying off in a cleaner environment. (Reducing gasoline taxes at all levels of government would lower prices at the pump significantly as well.)

There are plenty other federal laws that are exceedingly valid candidates for such treatment, in countless areas of life and the economy, and I hope that this can be the beginning of a trend.

Although it almost certainly won't be.

9 comments:

Tlaloc said...

"In addition, AP reports that Bush today also "halted for the summer the purchase of crude oil for the government's emergency reserve.""

Bad idea. It was bad enough that they opened up the strategic petroleum reserve after Katrina but to stop the process of refilling it when we are looking at potential REAL petroleum shortages is just idiotic.

The major oil producers of the world aren't exactly our best friends at the moment and they can yank that leash any time they want.

Tom Van Dyke said...

Yes, STK---I'd think buying petrol for the strategic reserve this summer would add to demand and therefore raise prices. Economics 101, although even that is not without controvery these days.

Bubba said...

Certainly, at least in my fantasies while slurping my coffee, there are other short and medium-term solutions that the administration can effect.

1. Encourage the use of clean coal, which some commentator on the radio said we had about 300 years-worth.
2. Use an executive order to start drilling in the infamous Alaska reserves. Surely if Clinton can use this power to pardon illegal aliens and sundry criminals, this power could be used for the good of the country.
3. The Administration could work with Senators Schumer and Kennedy, those well-known men with hearts breaking for the plight of us common folk, to cease, at least until the week after the November elections, the 48 cent per gallon of Federal taxes. (I do not know how much this would help the country, however, this helped Govenor O'Bannon win re-election here in Indiana a couple of years ago.)
4. Now here's a real fantasy: The President, having gained a backbone, addressing the nation in a televised address and publicly thanking the Gore and his tree-huggers and the Environmentalist Wackos and their Democratic syncophants for creating this slavery to foreign oil and our present inability to tell them to stick their oil where the sun doesn't shine.

Oh well, I'll pour myself another cup and retreat to my fantasy world.

Hunter Baker said...

I'm incredibly disappointed in Bush going along with the truly stupid popular desire to investigate price gouging from the oil companies. This is a teachable moment on supply and demand. Teach the public rather than dropping down to meet their expectations. Supply and demand does a lot more work than price gouging ever did.

I desperately wish this president would follow Reagan in answering economic stupidity rather than playing to it. I had hope for him early on when he challenged the left to justify their assertion that raising taxes would somehow stimulate the economy.

James Elliott said...

"The Administration could work with Senators Schumer and Kennedy, those well-known men with hearts breaking for the plight of us common folk, to cease, at least until the week after the November elections, the 48 cent per gallon of Federal taxes. (I do not know how much this would help the country, however, this helped Govenor O'Bannon win re-election here in Indiana a couple of years ago.)"

So, you mean like the Senate Democrats proposing a 60 day moratorium on the 18 cent/gallon federal gasoline tax? But of course, in the name of fiscal responsibility, they ask that the $6 billion subsidy giveaway to the oil companies be rescinded in order to pay for it. We'll see how the black gold guzzling, pro-business, anti-free-market Republicans handle that.

Bubba said...

"...Bubba, ya don't know poop about poop, do ya?..."

Actually, I do.

As a former clinical microbiologist I can tell you quite a lot more about "poop" than you would most likely want to know (various colors, sundry consistancies, its normal and pathological microbiological flora, ...) Would you like to know about any other bodily fluid or orifice?

I have neither heard nor read anything of "Gore's brand of environmentalism" that should not gathered up and placed inside a "locked box" along with Algore's Medicare solution and saved for posterity to deride in the future.

Bubba said...

"...You're good at snark, I'll give you that. Not so good at the whole "having content to your statements" thing, but good at the snark..."

Well, I admit to being unfamiliar with the term snark. I have spent some time googling for a definition, and I believe this is what you mean (thanks to www.urbandictionary.com):

noun
Combination of "snide" and "remark". Sarcastic comment(s).
Also snarky (adj.) and snarkily (adv.)

His commentary was rife with snark.
"Your boundless ineptitude is astounding," she snarkily declared.

I feel edified. Thank you. (not meant to be a snarky comment) ;-)

I will endeavor to be more content-conscious henceforth. Although I would prefer to be more pun-tiful like Mr Homnick.

Tom Van Dyke said...

Welcome, Bubba. We have long needed an expert on poop, as we are often knee-deep in it.

If your expertise extends to that of Bos taurus, particularly the male of the species, it would be an embarrassment of riches.

And thanks, but we don't need another Homnick, and more pun-ditry. One is sufficient. And contagious.

James Elliott said...

"Well, I admit to being unfamiliar with the term snark. I have spent some time googling for a definition, and I believe this is what you mean (thanks to www.urbandictionary.com):"

I like you.